Accessing the Move tool from any other tool

Move tool is probably tool u use most often in your everyday work in Photoshop. There are handy shortcuts which allows you to quickly and temporary switch to Move tool:

I was painting letters with Brush Tool in this example but shortcut works with any other tool.

To paint Type in Photoshop, Type Layer must be rasterized.

While you are working with any tool, press Ctrl on kayboard and current tool icon will change to Move Tool icon, that means you can use this tool to reposition current layer.

Hold down Ctrl key, click and drag

But what if you want to reposition layer which is not active? You can activate and reposition any layer by temporary switching to Move Tool from keyboard. To use this handy shortcut, Auto Select option for Move Tool must be enabled on Options bar and Layer choosen from drop down list. Note that this option will remain checked until you uncheck it manualy.

Note that you must manually uncheck Auto-Select option at Options bar.
If you want to see bounding box or transform controls around layer content check Show Transform Controls.

With this settings for Move Tool enabled you can temporary switch at any time. Active tool is which icon you see at screen. While working with any other tool, press and hold down V key on keyboard. Icon will change to Move Tool (and activate it), select layer you want to move by clicking on its content (Type in this example), hold down mouse button and move layers content at desired position. When you finished moving, click on layer you want to continue working on it, release mouse button then release V on keyboard and icon will change to tool you were working with.

Hold down V key, select layer you want to move by clicking on its content
and holding down V key and left mouse button move in desired destination.

When you need to move or reposition more then one layers content, use the same shortcut and invoke and Shift key from keyboard after selecting first layer.

Hold down V key and click on first layers content. This will activate that layer on LAYERS palette, then press and hold Shift key (along with V), click on second layers content (look at LAYERS palette to determine if its properly activated) release Shift and holding down V and mouse button, move layers contents in desired position. Click on layer you want to continue to work with, release mouse button then release V key. Active layer have blue background color.

Hold down V key to activate Move Tool, click on first layer content, then press and hold
Shift along with V and click on second layer content. Release Shift, move layers at desired
position, first release mouse button then V key.

When it doesn't work

This shortcuts won't work with vector drawing tools like Pen, Rectangle Tool and so on. Instead of switching to Move Tool you can switch to vector selection tools.

Adobe Photoshop / Moving, copying, and deleting selected pixels
Photoshop / Default keyboard shortcuts

Product used in this tutorial: Adobe Photoshop CS5


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